Unique European city portraits: look – listen – read

citybooks, the successor of Radio Books, is a project wherein cities, artists and the general public meet in a multimedia environment. A special website will be launched for citybooks in the fall of 2010. Till that time, you will find all information one this site. With this project, deBuren creates a sustainable, cultural collaboration between cities on a European level, with a huge potential for a wide audience and with a very low threshold. All the information as well as the contents are accessible free of charge on Ostend and Utrecht are the first cities visited; in 2011 we will make city portraits of Boekarest, Tblisi, Graz, Chartres and Potsdam.

The United Cities of Europe
For the first time in the history of humanity more people live in the cities than outside of them. Cities are becoming politically ever more important as well as more interesting on a cultural level.

The United States of Europe are, for now, a fiction of the political imagination. deBuren would like to stimulate the creation of The United Cities of Europe – on a cultural level.

citybooks is an artistic, principally literary residential project. Together with local partners, deBuren will ask five writers and a photographer to take up residence for two weeks in a European city. The six artists will come to know the city over those two weeks and will translate their impressions into their own artistic language.

The photographer will make twenty-four photos. The authors will write a citybook: a text of roughly four thousand words, in which the city will play an important role. A citybook could be a short story, an essay or poetry.

A special site will be launched for the new project citybooks in the fall of 2010. The five citybooks will appear as a text on this site and as e-book that will be downloadable free of charge. deBuren will make the e-books available in Dutch, English and French. If the language officially spoken in a particular city isn’t one of these three languages, deBuren will have the story translated into that language.

The citybooks will not only appear in e-book form and as a text on the website, but also as a podcast. The original text will be read by the authors themselves, the translations will be read by professional narrators, just like the Radio Books

City One Minutes
In every city visited, a video portrait will be made for the City One Minutes series. City One Minutes is part of the One Minute Foundation. The idea is simple: a short one-minute film is made of every hour in a certain day. This will result in having twenty-four short films that represent twenty-four hours of one day in a particular city.

A website for citybooks
The focus of the citybooks project is the website The site will be the place where all the elements come together: the five citybooks in the shape of web texts and as e-books, the photographs, the podcasts, the City One Minutes and the material that originates from the local and Flemish-Dutch cooperation in the project.

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